Coaches

Patrick Graham
Defensive Line Coach

Biography

Patrick Graham is in his second season coaching the Giants’ defensive line, his ninth season in the NFL, and his 16th year in coaching.

In 2016, Graham’s linemen helped the Giants’ defense become the NFL’s most improved unit, one that allowed 158 fewer points and 1,290 fewer yards than the previous season. The lineman accounted for 23 of the Giants’ 35 sacks, which was 12 more sacks than the team had in 2015.

Patrick Graham is in his second season coaching the Giants’ defensive line, his ninth season in the NFL, and his 16th year in coaching.

In 2016, Graham’s linemen helped the Giants’ defense become the NFL’s most improved unit, one that allowed 158 fewer points and 1,290 fewer yards than the previous season. The lineman accounted for 23 of the Giants’ 35 sacks, which was 12 more sacks than the team had in 2015.

In his first season with the Giants, defensive tackle Damon Harrison started all 16 regular-season games, plus the NFC Wild Card Game in Green Bay, and finished third on the team with a career-high 86 tackles (55 solo), and a career-best 2.5 sacks. Harrison and safety Landon Collins were the Giants’ first AP first-team All-Pros since Jason Pierre-Paul in 2011.

Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins also started every game and had 43 tackles (29 solo), 3.0 sacks, and a forced fumble.

Defensive End Olivier Vernon – like Harrison, a 2016 free agent acquisition - started all 17 games and led the Giants with 8.5 sacks, the second-highest total of his five-year career. Vernon had at least one sack in five consecutive games from Nov. 6-Dec. 4, and had 7.0 sacks in those contests.

Jason Pierre-Paul started the first 12 games of the season before missing the final four and the Giants’ postseason game after undergoing surgery to repair a core muscle injury that he suffered at Pittsburgh (12/4). He finished second on the team with 7.0 sacks. JPP was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance at Cleveland on Nov. 27, when had a career-high 3.0 sacks and caught a ball Josh McCown had fumbled in midair - after it was forced by Hankins - and returned it 43 yards for his third career touchdown.

 Rookie free agent Romeo Okwara played in all 17 games, with five starts at left defensive end, including the NFC Wild Card Game in Green Bay. He finished the regular season with 21 tackles (nine solo), including a sack. Okwara made his first start vs Dallas on Dec. 11, and was the first rookie free agent defensive lineman to start a game for the Giants since Damane Duckett on Jan. 2, 2005. Okwara had a team and season-high eight tackles (three solo), deflected a pass, and registered his first career sack when he tackled Dak Prescott for a five-yard loss in the second quarter. He was the first Giants player to record a sack in his initial career start since Pierre-Paul and Dave Tollefson both did it on Sept. 11, 2011 at Washington.

Before joining the Giants, Graham spent seven seasons with the New England Patriots, including three as the team’s linebackers coach, and two as the defensive line coach.

Graham coached the Patriots’ linebackers in 2011, and in 2014-15. In his final season with New England, the linebackers were key performers on a defense that ranked ninth in the NFL. Jamie Collins led the team with 89 tackles (51 solo), and contributed 5.5 sacks. Dont’a Hightower had 61 tackles (51 solo) and 3.5 sacks. Jerod Mayo had 47 tackles (35 solo).

In 2014, Graham’s positional group lost a team captain for the second consecutive season when Mayo tore his patellar tendon. Graham guided Hightower and Collins to breakout seasons, and each player played a pivotal role as the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX.

Graham finished a two-year stint coaching the Patriots’ defensive line in 2013, when tackle Vince Wilfork was lost early in the year with a torn Achilles tendon.

In Graham’s first three seasons as a position coach, the Patriots defense helped the club lead the NFL in turnover differential in 2010 and 2012 and finish first in the AFC in 2011.

Graham was a defensive assistant coach in 2010, and a coaching assistant in 2009. He joined the Patriots after two seasons as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame (2007-08), where he worked with the defense. Graham previously spent three seasons coaching at Richmond; one as assistant defensive line coach (2004), and two as tight ends coach (2005-06).

Prior to coaching at Richmond, Graham spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Wagner College (2002-03).

Graham was a defensive lineman at Yale, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2001 – with a concentration of studies in economics and African American studies. A decorated student athlete, Graham earned the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship, Yale University Scholarship, Yankee Gas Scholarship and the State Heisman Trophy.

Graham, 38, is married to Pamela. They have two children, Morgan and Silas.

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